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Friday, February 6, 2009

N.Y.C. so costly you need to earn six figures to make middle class

More than $2,000 a month for day care. Some of the highest phone bills in the country. Jam-packed, 50-plus-minute commutes to work.
You knew it was tough to live in New York City — but this tough?
A new report shows just how ugly — and expensive — New York City can be, especially for the middle class, squeezed by skyrocketing living costs and stagnant wages.
The study, released Thursday by the Center for an Urban Future, shows that New York City is hands-down the most expensive place to live in the country.
Among the findings:
A New Yorker would have to make $123,322 a year to have the same standard of living as someone making $50,000 in Houston.
In Manhattan, a $60,000 salary is equivalent to someone making $26,092 in Atlanta.
You knew it was expensive to live in Manhattan, but Queens? The report tagged Queens the fifth most expensive urban area in the country.
The average monthly rent in New York is $2,801, 53% higher than San Francisco, the second most expensive city in the country.
“Income levels that would enable a very comfortable lifestyle in other locales barely suffice to provide the basics in New York City,” the report concludes.
Other belt-tightening details include:
New Yorkers paid about $34 a month for phone service in 2006. In San Francisco, similar service cost $17 a month.
Home heating costs have jumped 125% in the past five years and are up 243% since 1998.
Full-time day care costs can run up to $25,000 a year for one child, depending on the neighborhood, or about as much as some college tuitions.
Meanwhile, wages in the city have remained mostly flat in all boroughs but Manhattan — even during the boom years from 2003 to 2007.
It’s not only money that makes life here hard, researchers said — which might not be news to most New Yorkers.
Take commutes, for example. The report found that many New Yorkers put up with commutes double the national average of 25.5 minutes.
Commuting to Manhattan from St. Albans, Queens, can take 51.7 minutes, while getting there from Canarsie, Brooklyn, can run 50.8 minutes.
Researchers said the combination of skyrocketing costs, stagnant wages and a deteriorating quality of life forced hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to flee the city for cheaper areas during the boom years from 2002 to 2006.
The report found that more New Yorkers left each year during the boom than left during the dark days of the early 1990s.
Center for Urban Future Director Jonathan Bowles noted that the number of people fleeing the city has slowed since 2007 as the rest of the country has sunk into recession, jobs have dried up nationwide and home values here started to sink.
Mayor Bloomberg downplayed the report but said he is concerned about the constant drumbeat of job losses in the city.
“There is turnover all the time. That’s very healthy,” Bloomberg said. “We’re doing fine, but it is very worrisome, the number of people who are losing their jobs.”

Taken from the daily news.

It seems I need to relocate, any one have any idea of a city that is similar to NYC but cheaper?


OmegaRadium said...

That report should be required reading for all these naive girls who's biggest dream is to move to New York right out of high school.

Kimberly Michelle said...

That's insane!

~*Miss A*~ said...

Hell-freakin-o?! Wasn't it YOU that said New York wasn't that expensive?! I now know for real that I'll never be able to afford New York, not unless I'm making some $$!

Coogie Cruz said...

I was born and raised in NYC until I left for college in 2003, my entire family is still living there. I moved back in May 2008 and guess what, I took my butt right back to Atlanta in September. I was always comparing prices to the point my family and friends told me "Shut up this in NYC". I just could not afford to live there as a recent college graduate. It is just too freakin' expensive. The cost of a crappy one bedroom apartment in a bad neighborhood is more than what I currently pay to rent a house in a nice quiet area with four bedrooms and two baths.

Rachel Tamed said...

I must take the opportunity to rave about how amazing Portland is. A very liveable, travelable, affordable, yet cultured and interesting place. We are also surrounded by beautiful lakes, rivers, mountains, deserts, forrests...all you could want. Ooohh, and we have the lottery...and me!!! :)

Cooper said...

I went to school in NYC and lived in a dorm for most of it but lived in Soho the last year. It was extremely pricey. My boyfriend currently still lives in Soho, as he bought a place there some time ago. I considered staying there for grad school but decided instead to head back to where I spent my high school years and purchase my own place. It is not cheap here, but I'm living in a large apartment, walking distance to anything I need while the few friends that stayed in NY, if working or in grad school, are sharing places with up to 6 other people and still paying outrageous rents.

One of my long time readers lived in NY most of her life, she is in her fifties and just recently sold her place and moved to South Carolina, she is having withdrawal, but the different in cost of living and the size of her townhouse compared to the apartment she owned in new York is making her quite happy.

Unbreakable said...

Thank you all for sharing your views, I have to say I am use to living in very large house with very big rooms that I can walk around my bed, since I came to New York to live, I have not had that luxury, I have visited allot of other places, but I find it hard to move from new York even though its so expensive, feel very comfortable here.

My problem with other places is that, things are so far away, in NY things a very accessible, if you don’t drive, it will really not affect you.

But I think my main reason it that all my family live here, and I am very family orientated, I just learned a couple of week ago that my uncle got a better job offer than he currently has a Bank Of America, so they will be moving to Canada.

So maybe now that my family will be more scattered out, I will find the guts to move, but I do think NY is the place for me, especially with a career in financial services.
Maybe if and when I find a girl, if she is good enough to persuade me to move, them maybe I will consider it.

floreta said...

scary. i don't think i've ever wanted to move to new york.. thanks for commenting on my blog.